The Forgotten Side of DNS: Orphan and Abandoned Records


DNS zone administration is a complex task in- volving manual work and several entities and can therefore result in misconfigurations. Orphan records are one of these misconfigurations, in which a glue record for a delegation that does not exist anymore is forgotten in the zone file. Orphan records are a security hazard to third-party domains that have these records in their delegation, as an attacker may easily hijack such domains by registering the domain associated with the orphan. The goal of this paper is to quantify this misconfiguration, extending previous work by Kalafut et al., by identifying a new type of glue record misconfiguration – which we refer to as abandoned records – and by performing a broader characterization. Our results highlight how the situation has changed, not always for the better, compared to a decade-old study.

5th International Workshop on Traffic Measurements for Cybersecurity (WTMC 2020)